WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – With the Republican health care failing to even get to vote in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has reverted to a ‘Hail Mary’ pass that puts his own GOP members in a tough spot.
McConnell is asking them to vote a straight up repeal of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, without a replacement for it. It’s a bill they passed two years ago when the stakes were a lot lower because they knew it would never become law.
The Republican party’s predicament came about late Monday when support for the bill imploded.
“Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday night in a statement.
Support for the bill collapsed Monday evening when two more Senate Republicans announced they were against it, bringing the total number of Republican defectors to at least four.
“We should not put our stamp of approval on bad policy,” said Sen. Jerry Moran, R-KS.
Utah Sen. Mike Lee said the party’s health care bill “doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle-class families.”
With all Democrats expected to vote against it, the GOP could have only afforded to lose two of its own.
With word of the defeat, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to voice his opinion.
Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2017
Senator McConnell is now calling on the Senate to vote on an amended version of the House bill, a plan that involves repealing Obamacare with a two-year delay, even with no agreed upon replacement.
Just two weeks ago, though, he was against that idea.
The bill the Senate passed in 2015, which repealed Obamacare, was ultimately vetoed by President Barack Obama. Earlier this year the Congressional Budget Office did an analysis of that bill and found the number of uninsured would increase by 18 million Americans in the first year.
By 2026, that number would be 32 million.
As for premiums, the CBO estimated that individual policies would go up 20 to 25 percent in the first year.
Republican leaders argue those hikes will never happen because they will have passed a new health care plan by then. Critics on the left and right say if they haven’t found consensus in the last seven months, there’s no guarantee that it will happen in the next two years.